South Bend Cubs Win Midwest League Western Division Pennant
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - By defeating the Cedar Rapids Kernels 9-3 in the decisive Game 3, the South Bend Cubs are Midwest League Western Division Champions and will host Game 1 of the Midwest League Championship this Sunday, September 18. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA - By defeating the Cedar Rapids Kernels 9-3 in the decisive Game 3, the South Bend Cubs are Midwest League Western Division Champions and will host Game 1 of the Midwest League Championship this Sunday, September 18. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. and first pitch is scheduled for 6:05 p.m.
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The Cubs will face the Lake County Captains who beat the Great Lakes Loons 6-5 and won the Eastern Division Championship. Lake County will host game 2 on Tuesday, September 20 and if necessary, game 3 on Wednesday, September 21.
The South Bend Cubs offense shot right out of the gate, scoring four runs in the 1st inning, chasing starting pitcher Orlando Rodriguez after just recording one out. Owen Caissie brought in the game's first run on a RBI sacrifice fly, then Luis Verdugo doubled home a pair, lastly BJ Murray punched a single into right-center to cap off the big 1st inning.
It was a monster night in Cedar Rapids for multiple top Chicago Cubs prospects. Caissie finished his evening with four RBI, Pete Crow-Armstrong rolled in three hits, and both Murray and Pablo Aliendo had a pair of knocks.
The Cubs offense kept clicking and would score an additional five runs, two of those coming in the top of the 9th inning.
Starter for South Bend Daniel Palencia was stellar, going five innings and giving up only two hits while striking out eight Kernels. Palencia displayed a masterful three-pitch mix in Game 3, and kept Kernels hitters fully off-balanced with a fastball, slider, and changeup combo.
Riley Martin replaced Palencia in the 6th, retiring the Kernels in order. But in the 7th he would give up three runs on two hits, walking two and striking out one. Michael McAvene would finish the 7th with a one pitch fly out. McAvene would finish the 8th and turn the ball over to Jake Reindl who made quick work of Fedko, Javier, and Garry Jr.
In the postseason, Reindl has faced six batters, and he has retired them all. Four of those outs have come by the 'K'.
This is the second time in three seasons the South Bend Cubs would advance to the Midwest League Championship. South Bend's opponent, the Lake County Captains, was in South Bend in late July, and the two clubs split a six-game series three-games apiece.
The conclusion of that series between the Cubs and Captains was an exciting one on a warm Sunday in Downtown South Bend. Shortstop Kevin Made, who recently arrived from Low-A Myrtle Beach, crushed a double off the left-center field wall to lead the Cubs to a walk-off win over the Captains. It set South Bend up for what was an upcoming 12-game road trip.
Over the last two playoff runs, South Bend has won game one in each of the four series they have played. In 2019, they took home game one at home against Bowling Green, Great Lakes, and Clinton. This year, they beat Cedar Rapids in the first game of the Division Series. Can they keep that trend going with a Game One win over Lake County?